New Age birth ends in hi-tech hospital

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The Independent Online
IT WAS the ultimate New Age dream: a water birth on a beach in Hawaii, with the surf crashing in the background and a school of dolphins swimming in attendance.

But for two dolphin enthusiasts, the cosmic experience at the water's edge did not end well.

Their six-day-old son was yesterday in a hospital ward, wired up to hi-tech medical equipment and being treated with drugs. Charles Lucy, a British musician, and his partner, Joy Newland, accuse police and doctors of 'kidnapping' the child for medical treatment.

Mr Lucy, who once wrote a book linking all musical notes with the mathematical formula pi, and Ms Newland, an American dolphin-lover, together run the Sirius Institute - a group dedicated to living in harmony with dolphins - in Hawaii.

Ms Newland founded the institute after meeting some dolphins while swimming seven years ago. 'It was a wonderful experience - like coming home. I felt tremendous rapport, intelligence and love. After that I wanted to devote myself to dolphins.'

Inspired, she plans to set up a house at the edge of the sea with special doors for dolphins to swim in and out, and with sound equipment for playing special dolphin music, written by Mr Lucy. The couple believe that eventually they will be able to communicate with dolphins. When baby came along, it seemed natural for him to be born and raised among the animals.

'We wanted a dolphin water birth. Kehena Beach was so beautiful with the water, the black sand and the dolphins and it seemed the obvious place,' Ms Newland said.

John Kehena Lucy Newland was born at the waterside at 5pm on Tuesday, two months premature and weighing only 3lb. He was initially taken home to dry out at the couple's house.

According to his parents, he was checked over by a doctor and pronounced healthy. Four days later, two policemen and a female child protection officer arrived and took the baby away to hospital, claiming he needed specialist attention. Since then the couple say they have not been allowed to see the child, but have been told he has been given antibiotics and a spinal tap.

'They virtually ripped the child from my arms. They said he might be infected and have not even asked my permission for anything,' Ms Newland said.

Yesterday, as the sun rose over Kehena Beach for another perfect day, the couple were planning to consult a lawyer. Baby John was still in hospital. The dolphins were not saying anything.

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